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Varsity Lady Bruins Eye Postseason Hoops Bracket
The Feb. 11 Trans-Valley League finale between Riverbank High (15-8 overall, 5-5 TVL) and Hughson (10-12, 3-6) varsity girls basketball teams is looking less and less like a typical meeting between two conference rivals at the end of the year.

Since Riverbank plays unbeaten Modesto Christian on Feb. 7 and Hughson has two teams remaining on the league schedule they previously defeated (Escalon and Orestimba), it's likely that both the Huskies and Bruins will enter the final conference game with a 5-6 record.

Riverbank was listed 15th and Hughson 19th on the recent Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV power ratings, so the regular season finale could decide which team qualifies for the playoffs and which team misses the postseason. Since Riverbank had a strong preseason, a win may also vault the Lady Bruins into the top-12 and avoid a showdown with the top seeds.

"With two tough teams left in the season, we need to go 1-for-2 at a minimum to get us away from the top four teams in playoffs," Bruin coach Tim Carnes said on Monday.

Riverbank stayed in the postseason conversation by besting Orestimba 58-29 on Jan. 28 and avenging a first-half defeat with a 53-42 win over Hilmar two days later. Riverbank faltered during a 56-33 loss to playoff-bound Ripon on Feb. 1 to highlight the importance of their final regular season game on the road. The Bruins beat Hughson 55-51 at home on Feb. 17.

Janelle Luu scored 19 points with 16 rebounds against Orestimba while Olivia Luu had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Vanessa Vargas added nine points and 10 rebounds while Tori Sandoval and Toni Adams each scored four. The Hilmar win was made possible by a 16-point, 12-assist performance by Olivia Luu while Kendra Garcia chipped in eight points and four rebounds. Adams (four points, nine rebounds) also played well, while Janelle Luu was the star of the game with 21 points and 11 boards.

The same offensive output wasn't available against Ripon, which held Vargas to a team high 10 points. Chloe Arnold added six while Olivia and Janelle Luu scored four each. The defeat was difficult for coach Carnes to absorb.

"We came out of the locker room flat," Carnes said. "There was an underlying problem with the team that affected our ability to get moving as a team. This is not the first time we have been in an emotional disarray.

"I can tell you that if we don't get this fixed soon, we will have a very short postseason."